eConnected Soil Moisture probes

Page last updated: Tuesday, 14 May 2019 - 12:49pm

Soil moisture probes can assist in making better decisions around nitrogen management, risk mitigation, marketing and crop potential. 

They help you to find out:

- how much water you have in your soil water bucket at critical times;

- how effective rainfall events have been;

- what depth your crops are able to access moisture from;

- whether N or moisture will be your greatest limiting factor; and

- where subsoil constraints are stopping complete moisture drawdown (Oster, GRDC 2016).

Subscriptions to the network of 28 DPIRD soil moisture probes, including the 11 eConnected sites will be continuing for a further 12 months to 30 June 2020.

Since installation of the eConnected soil moisture probes, two significant changes have taken place.

Firstly the project has opted to change to an alternate data visualisation platform in MyLiveFarm (previously Crop Manager) following feedback that the visual display of data on the platform of a ‘soil water bucket’ was more helpful and an improvement to the line graphs displayed in Outpost Central (see image). The MyFarmLive platform still uses the telemetry from Outpost Central to obtain the soil moisture probe data. MyLiveFarm is also about to release an App so that farmers and advisers can easily access data off the DPIRD soil moisture probe network.

The second change, is that DPIRD's Caroline Peek and eConnected’s Megan Abrahams have been working with Yvette Oliver, of CSIRO, to improve the soil moisture data by calibrating the data measurements to the specific site soil type.  

The platforms previously used a default calibration setting.  The new calibrations are based on using the Soil Water Express tool to give a ‘best guestimate’ of the Drained Upper Limit (DUL) and Crop Lower Limit (CLL) estimated from particle size analysis results from the eConnected sites.  The current probe calibrations were than adjusted to best match the newly estimate DUL and CLL. 

This is the new soil moisture data you will see on MyLiveFarm.

All 28 sites may be accessed through a central access Username: DPIRD and Password: @eConnect123

With the recent introduction of the WA Internet of Things (IoT) DecisionAg Grant program, many of the successful projects are electing to trial automatic weather stations and soil moisture sensors. The eConnected soil moisture probe and DPIRD network could prove to be a valuable resource for comparing and assessing the value of these IoT tools.

Contact information

eConnected Grainbelt

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EConnected Grainbelt